Frontier SB at Liberty 1

Liberty’s Shelbie Valencia beats the tag by Frontier’s Jordan Head as she steals second.

Mark Nessia/The Californian

Hello rivalry week.

Stockdale has won 41 consecutive Southwest Yosemite League softball games dating back to April 7, 2015.

A month later, the Patriots ousted Stockdale in the opening round of the Central Section Division I playoffs.

Since, the Mustangs have been the top team in Kern County with 29 consecutive wins against county competition since. 

Could that change this week?

The two teams play a home and away series this week beginning at Stockdale on Tuesday. What’s even better is on Thursday at Liberty, the two will conclude the final inning of a rainout from March 20. That game will proceed in the top of the seventh inning at Liberty with the score tied 3-3. The final game will begin after the conclusion of the makeup game. 

All of that means that one of these two 5-0 teams in the SWYL will take the lead in league play with just three more weeks left in the regular season.

Liberty (12-3, 5-0) has won five consecutive games and junior Talia Nielsen has been lights out in the circle for the Patriots.

Nielsen is 8-1 with a 0.72 ERA and has 93 strikeouts in just 58 ⅓ innings.

The bats have been hot for Liberty as well. Freshman Shelbie Valencia leads the team with a .432 batting average (19-44) and 12 RBIs. In fact, four freshman (Valencia, Jayline Sloss, Nicole Enriquez and Lauryn Serda) all are batting at least .385.

Sydney Hornbuckle has been a two-way standout this season and likely will go head-to-head with Nielsen most of the series this week.

Hornbuckle, a verbal commit to Colorado State, is 8-3 with a 0.71 ERA while also hitting .386 at the plate with 18 RBIs and a team-high three home runs.

Junior Izzy Nieblas, a commit to Maine, is hitting .508 and has drove in 29 runs with Sydney and her senior sister, Cheyenne, hitting in front of Nieblas in the lineup.

Cheyenne, who was part of a large signing ceremony at Stockdale on Monday where the second baseman celebrated her signing to Kansas, is hitting .457 and has scored a team-high 20 runs.

Another league race in softball to keep an eye on in the county is the Southeast Yosemite League.

Highland has won the previous two league titles and has a chance on Tuesday to take a big step forward in a third consecutive as the Scots (8-4, 4-0) are at North (9-7, 3-1) on Tuesday.

This was touted as a possible game of SEYL unbeatens before South beat North 6-4 in eight innings on Friday.

Brianna Acosta threw a five inning no-hitter for the Scots last Wednesday, yielding just three walks and striking out 11 in a 13-0 win over Foothill.

East, Tehachapi and Independence are all 4-2 in South Yosemite League play and all trail Ridgeview (4-1) by a half-game in the standings.

BVarsity Central Section Baseball Top 10 Rankings

1. Stockdale (15-3, 6-0 SWYL, Division I, previous ranking 1)

2. Clovis West (18-4, 5-2 TRAC, D-I, 3)

3. Visalia-Redwood (15-3, 4-0 WYL, D-I, 6)

4. Clovis East (14-6, 4-3 TRAC, D-I, 8)

5. Clovis North (17-5, 4-3 TRAC, D-I, 2)

6. Clovis-Buchanan (13-5-1, 5-2 TRAC, D-I, 5)

7. Frontier (13-7, 4-2 SWYL, D-I, 9)

8. Clovis (12-9, 3-4 TRAC, D-I 4)

9. Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial (14-7, 7-0 CMAC, D-II, not ranked)

10. Centennial 10-8, 2-4 SWYL, D-I, 10)

BVarsity Central Section Softball Top 10 Rankings

1. Clovis (19-2, 2-0 TRAC, D-I, 1)

2. Clovis-Buchanan (17-3, 1-1 TRAC, D-I, 2)

3. Fresno-Bullard (12-4, 2-0 CMAC, D-I, 3)

4. Stockdale (14-3, 5-0 SWYL, D-I, 4)

5. Liberty (12-3, 5-0 SWYL, D-I, 7)

6. Dos Palos (15-2, 2-0 WSL, D-IV, 6)

7. Porterville-Monache (16-2, 2-0 EYL, D-I, 8)

8. Visalia-Redwood (12-5, 4-0 WYL, D-II, NR)

9. Madera (15-4-1, 0-2 CMAC, D-I, 5)

10. Dinuba (14-4, 1-1 CSL, D-III, 10)

(4) comments

bobspapa

We should all chip in and get Trevor a GET bus pass.

Lamonster

I've heard that there are also some schools outside the Bakersfield city limits that play ball too.

bobspapa

South, East, Highland, North, Garces, Mira Monte, Foothill, West, Frontier all play ball too. Just say'n.

Nevermind

Ridgeview. 11-5-1. No love

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